Dried pulses are peas, beans and lentils. If you wish to use them in a meal a little forethought is needed as they must be soaked beforehand. Place them in a large bowl, cover with water and allow them to soak overnight; or pour boiling water over them and leave to soak for 2 hours. Drain. Place in a saucepan of water, add salt, 1 teaspoon per 1/2 lb 225 gms of pulses. Bring to the boil. Cover. Simmer as follows:
Peas: 1/2 hour
Butter Beans: 1 hour
Lentils: 1/2 hour
Split Peas: 1/2 hour
Haricot Beans: 3/4 hour
They can be served ho, whole, pureed with vegan margarine and seasoning; or cold, tossed in French Dressing. They can be put in soups, stews, main dishes, or salads.
Do Not use the water that the beans have been soaked or boiled in for stock as it contains harmful chemicals. Allow the kidney beans to boil rapidly for at least 10 minutes before simmering for 1 hour until soft. Always cook the kidney beans separately then add them to the dish 10 minutes before serving.
Most pulses can be bought pre-cooked in tins. This is more expensive but saves time and effort.